Quoc have gone and done it again. Right after their successful Kickstarter campaign and the official launch of the now highly sought after Gran Tourer All-Terrain gravel shoes (which we've also reviewed), the company has come up with what looks to be another industry first. The UK-based design studio has just announced another Kickstarter campaign for ‘The Weekend’, which they hope will completely redefine casual cycling shoes.
As a rule, the new shoes are also designed to promote seamless transition between different parts of a cyclist’s active lifestyle, be it on or off the bike. Essentially it’s very much in keeping with the brand’s mission as a whole. However, this latest offering is a stark contrast to the rest of Quoc’s previous line of shoes, taking inspiration from the humble sneaker instead.
Despite it’s deceivingly casual look, The Weekend is surprisingly pedal-able, with clipless pedal compatibility. Say what? You read that right. The shoe may appear as if normal trainers, but features a recessed cleat that as we already know is a match made in heaven with the SPD/MTB system. To make walking and cycling equally comfortable, the sole has mid-board reinforcement for a stable pedaling platform, without sacrificing toe and heel flex. Did we mention that the insole is also ergonomically designed for full day comfort?
Other neat features include the 3M reflective scuff guard for better safety, with a protective toe guard in front. The shoe also has Quoc’s patented double lock lace system in addition to elastic shoelaces - a boon for Southeast Asian cyclists like us who are used to the ease of flip flops. Both elastic and normal shoelaces are included in the Kickstarter reward.
Will this sneaker work for the tropical weather of Malaysia and other countries of similar climates? Not that were skeptical about this, but it looks highly likely, if Quoc’s brand promise is anything to go by. The Weekend is expected to better navigate changeable conditions, thanks to a watertight outsole, a water and dirt repellent upper, antibacterial contact fabric and smart air vents that should help keep feet comfortably dry and odour-free. Quite nifty indeed.
Here’s the kicker though. These shoes are also environmentally friendly, utilising algae-based EVA-replacement foam from Mississippi company Bloom for the sole cushioning. Essentially, Bloom transforms green water (i.e. algae polluted) into clean water to make this cushy performance foam, which means that for every Weekend shoe Quoc makes, the manufacturing process ensures “395 half litre bottles of clean water will have been returned to the environment.” Thirty seven 12” balloons of CO2 will also be prevented from entering the atmosphere.
The stats sound quite impressive on paper, but the shoes look good too, plain and simple. Inspired by cycling's colour and culture, Quoc has envisioned the Weekend to be the ultimate performance sneaker that you can pretty much use anywhere and for anything. And the fact that the manufacturing process is actually good for the environment is really the icing on the cake, one that every person who enjoys cycling outdoors should identify with.
For those of you who want to support the final development of the shoes, you can head to Quoc’s Kickstarter page and choose from a range of different pledges. Early bird benefits will entitle you to a fairly low GBP82 price for a pair, representing a 45% discount from the expected retail price of GBP149. It may seem a bit hefty for something you don’t get to try on before purchasing, but Quoc also has a handy guide to get you the right size, which we’ve found to be fairly accurate.
The Weekend will be available in three different colours, namely cream, olive and black. They’re unisex (no gender profiling from the good folks at Quoc!), with a wide range of sizing to accommodate both men and women of various shapes and sizes. It’s fair to say that the Cycling Plus Malaysia team is eagerly awaiting a pair to test (or two!), to see if they live up to the hype.
*Don't wait too long, because the Kickstarter campaign ends April 11th, and early bird backers are already being snapped up like hot cakes!